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12 December 2011

Comments

AfroGay

Self preservation. If Cameron's and Obama's threats bear fruit (as they are doing already in Malawi), Nana won't have a job.

Jim

It’s interesting to compare Mr. Nana’s position with that of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa in the 1980s. That movement strongly supported international sanctions against South Africa, even though the movement knew that, in the short run, it would hurt African people financially. Mr. Nana’s position is the opposite of this.

On another point, I’m not sure I understand why, as Mr. Nana claims, that the threat to cut aid off from a nation because of its anti-gay laws reinforces the propaganda that homosexuality is not African. If some European nation, say, were actually honorable enough to withdraw aid from an African nation because it was ruled by a tyrant, does that mean basic human rights are not African?

And if no country cuts off aid to a nation, in spite of its despicable gay laws, doesn’t that also reinforce a couple of other ideas—that human rights in the North are just something to give lip service to, and that no one really cares about gay people in Africa anyway?

Faison

AfroGay and Jim: Entitled much?

Your comments are very entitled, very Euro- and American-centric. Very much like white gays who tell Black American gays what should be done in their neighborgoods, with their anti-gay pastor and politicians, from the safety of their homes in Chelsea and WeHo.

AfroGay: Malawi's aid was cut BEFORE the "gay marriage" incident. But I don't see Cameron's threat "bearing any fruit". Is life better for gays in Malawi? I thought it was worse. Malawi has refused to release its human rights report and was just cited by UNHCR.

BTW, AfroGay: Are you still living in Africa? Or London, New York or Paris? I'm sure Joel could make a helluva lot more money in Paris, if his sole motive were financial.

Jim: Joel is a native of the Cameroon, and has lived there, Ivory Coast, RSA, Senegal, Nigeria and other Africa nations iirc. I think he and the other Africans who LIVE IN AFRICA would know from where they speak.

And he makes an excellent point: Most of the agitation and demonstrations against Nigeria, Cameroon, etc are done by Africans in the Diaspora. Not those who live in those nations, who have to suffer the violence and the persecution. If the US, EU and UK want to cut aid, why not link it to human rights, corruption, gender issues, climate change, or something else? Why make it conditional on LGBT issues?

Needless to say, I'm very disappointed with these comments and would expect them on Towleroad or JMG. Besides R20, I see very little coverage of African MSM issues in American LGBT media unless its outrage and racist comments about homophobia in African nations. There is a focus on white, American and European activists "saving" Africans and precious little attention to what African LGBTs say. And when we do hear what they say, the first instinct is to tell them that they don't what they're talking about.

Of course, as is normal on this blog, the haters won't say it but let me close this by saying BRAVO Rod. ICASA and Ethiopia brought you halfway across the world to hear you speak and let you report about Africa. Bravo.

Faison, native of Cote d'Ivoire

Derrick from Philly

I respect the comments by Jim and AfroGay, but Faison's response is very practical and insightful.

I applauded Prime Minister Cameron's decision. But African LGBT people's views on what strategies to use for their own liberation movements have to be paramount. I live in Philadelphia in the United States. I don't live in Lagos or Kampala--I don't know what it feels like to have my life in danger every day because of my family and neighbors being infuriated by "insulting" actions by the West. Let African Gays decide what help they want from others and how they want it.

Jim, I said the same thing you did a month ago. I supported Britain's Cameron and wanted sanctions against African nations-- just as we had against White South Africa in the 1980s. But there is a big difference here: the White minority in South Africa was seen by most Africans as a foreign entity--they were colonists. This issue pits African against African.

And Africans who use African Gays as scapegoats are dangerous liars--they are capable of committing mass murder to continue their lies about homosexuality and Transgenderism being "un-African". Maybe Christian fundamentalism and fundamentalist Islam are actually "un-African".

We have to listen to African Gays when it comes to how they hope to maintain their own survival...and, of course, there may be different views among them.

Who we should NOT listen to are White supremacist Gays who have contempt for Black folks whether we're from the Congo or Congo Square in New Orleans.

Jerry

We gay men outside of Africa should give all of the support we can to our gay African brothers but they should be in charge of their lives and their destinies. They are the ones who know what it is like to be gay in their African countries and what happens affects them every day of their lives.

I do hate to see money given to these government and religious leaders in Africa who are so hateful and murderers of our gay brothers. But it is the gay men in Africa who know what is best for them.

I have said here before that I have five gay friends in Nigeria and Ghana. A couple of years ago two of my Nigerian friends were beaten horribly by the police and arrested. I have pictures of one of the beatings.

I have visited my friends in both countries three times. When I visited my friend in Ghana we had no problems. He is now working on his Phd at the University of Accra. He recently told me he does not think I should visit him right now because it might be dangerous for us to be seen walking around together. The homophobia has increased.

As one gay activist in Uganda said in an interview the West did not import homosexuality. It imported homophobia.

It is more than upsetting to see what is happening to our gay brothers in Africa as they fight for their rights as human beings as they live lives of fear and loneliness and torture and murder because of the evil governmental and religious leaders who use gays as scapegoats. I despise them.

Does anyone here have any gay friends or relatives in African countries?

Greg G

Jerry, I have visited Nigeria and South Africa and have at least six or seven gay/MSM friends on the continent.

Co-signing (and waving tambourine!) Faison and Derrick. I applauded PM Cameron's decision but can see there is a danger of blowback. The statement that Rod linked was signed by dozens of African LGBT organizations, so the disagreement is apparently more than just "one" person. I wasn't even aware there were that many LGBT groups in Africa, that shows how much I know.

Jim, I'm very curious. Are you African? Have you visited sub-Saharan Africa or spent any significant time there? Do you have any relatives living there? Do you know any gay men living in any African countries where their existence or livelihood is threatened?

My recollection is that you are not African, you are not black and you are white, albeit sexually attracted to black or brown men. Seems rather patronizing and neo-colonial that a white gay American man presumes to knows more about Africa and African LGBT issues than Africans who live and work in Africa.

But that's the history of colonialism and white entitlement.

Greg G

Let me also co-sign what Faison said earlier. Bravo to Rod and Rod 2.0. An invitation to speak and/or report from any conference is commendable, but it's truly a feather in your cap to have paneled or reported on Black LGBT and HIV issues from USA, Europe, Latin America and now Africa. It's even more fantastic that it happened in Africa, in a homophobic country but yet ICASA and the Ethiopian government recognized your work.

You often don't receive compliments on this blog but you know how "our" people can be sometimes. Folks are quiet bc they are speechless. Keep doing you, muah! ;)

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